New Year doesn't mean starting over. I truly hate that idea. It misses the point. You can promote as many positive vibes as you want, but unless you acknowledge that you're not really leaving everything behind -- you're building on it - no resolution, no "new year new me" is going to be successful. Knowing where you're coming from prepares you for where you're going.
Just because you're not carrying something with you, that doesn't mean you've gotten rid of it. entirely. This can be a reason to re-evaluate what you think you've gotten over but haven't really, and a chance to put your past squarely in front of you to understand why you are where you are. To identify the things that really make you who you are today, and not somebody else with the same face and shirt.
For me, someone who doesn't really celebrate Christmas, more the season in general (Yule, Solstice, whatever you'd like to call it), I've been working more on taking these last seven days of the year to focus on seven individual things. I view it as a kind of "empty space," right before the western calendar flips over. It's after the more mainstream holidays, just before everyone "starts over."
I'm scattered as a default, or have tunnel vision on what's directly in front of me (there's very little in-between), so I wanted to share all of these at once with you rather than one each day as I'd originally planned. That's how I've practiced this idea in the past, but that doesn't mean it has to be the way you do it.
RED - the day for fire. The element of change, for better or for worse.
What are things that have changed in this last year? What are things you hoped would change but didn't? What's in your power and what's not? Can that dividing line change with some work?
There are things that we simply can't control, ultimately. But we can learn to be adaptable. But which of these changes we think are out of our control are just a result of complacency, and letting others take charge?
What was in our control, but we didn't realize in time?
What's in your power to change in this coming year, and what are the realistic steps to get there? Make a real list. Even if you don't think it's realistic. Then break it down. What would you have to do, and how hard would you have to work for that to become real? Break it down some more. Even if it doesn't happen in this next year, what changes can you make to point yourself in the right direction? Is there any overlap, so you can work on more than one goal at once?
ORANGE - the day for air. The element of movement.
What makes you happy? What are the true, wholesome incentives for you to get things done? What makes you feel recharged and want to get out of bed in the morning?
I see a lot of guilt over self-care, and definitely the occasional self-care practice that isn't practical in the slightest. Sometimes that's okay. But it doesn't help you move forward. It doesn't help you recharge. We need to learn to tell the difference, and apply each one accordingly.
Why do you do the things that you do? What makes you want to do them more?
Identify things that make you happy - all the small silly things to the biggest, most energizing things you know of. It doesn't have to be something that others approve of. It doesn't have to be understood by anyone but you.
How can you tie more of what makes you happy to the things you're obligated to do, or your larger, more unpleasant goals? Reward yourself - but then keep going. You deserve the occasional "pointless" reward. We all deserve a cookie now and then. But keep your balance. Put the air in your wings and you'll get even further toward what you want.
YELLOW - the day for life. The element of connection.
Now it's time to pay attention to those around you. Where do you fit in? Who are you to other people, and who are they to you? Where are you when you're around strangers? Where are you when you're among friends? How can you make something or someone you touch even better equipped to continue their own journey?
"If I won the lottery, I'd --" is the easiest excuse to make. It's the same as "if I had an extreme abundance, then I'd start helping." We don't need to be a billionaire, millionaire, or even have money to help someone else. Our place in our community cannot truly be monetized.
What can you do with what you have? How best would it be received? Read [THE FIVE LOVE LANGUAGES] and see if you recognize any of them in people you're around. Think about things you can do to help others, using only what you already have. And then do it consistently.
GREEN - the day for earth. The element of stability.
What are some of your bad habits? How do these really, truly effect things in the long run? Health isn't about size, or never drinking soda. It's about self awareness and focusing on our actions and how they affect things we care about. It's preparing us for lowering the cost of worry, distraction, and sometimes even monetary cost, whether that's physical or mental health.
The difference between the red and the green here is how easily something is identified. It's less of the "big" changes, more about what "tabs" we have running in the background that are slowing us down. The things we don't even notice until it's too late, so then we give up and keep doing it.
Make a list of things you seem to consistently kick yourself over. Don't be hard on yourself, but be realistic. Put those things into categories. If you have a lot, focus on the category that has the most.
And then figure out what you can do to replace it. And then once that's fully replaced, find something more innocuous to replace that habit.
Your mound of dishes that you made yourself do on a specified day of the week can then be done twice a week. If you really want to, work on it longer, until you never worry about them at all. Don't create a vacuum -- put the energy from a bad habit into something better.
And then find that list you made, and keep working on something else.
BLUE - the day for water. The element of patience.
Water is patient. It's powerful, but not always volatile on its own.
Tied back into the Orange, what is it that makes you feel calm? What makes you feel safe? It doesn't have to be something that other people understand. You just need to understand what about that thing, or situation, or person makes you feel that way.
This day doesn't have a lot of deeper things for me to say. It's more about taking the time to be aware of yourself. Take time to be calm and think. Relax. You can't always have your favorite coat, or be around your favorite person -- so, how can you take that feeling with you, to help you in the long run?
While Green is about active growth, Blue is more about how we can grow by calming down and letting ourselves quiet. Take care of yourself, but that doesn't always mean running around doing Big Fun Things. Be patient.
What do you over-work, to the point of failure? Where are you really, truly not patient, to your own downfall? When were times when you might have jumped the gun, or spoken too soon? How can you use your associations of safety and patience to help you in the long run?
VIOLET - the day for time. The element of wisdom.
What's worried you the most this year? How did those things turn out? What did you put yourself through before there was a full ending to the issue, or before you had conclusive news? Violet also ties back to Blue.
Identify any issues in your relationship to time, whether it's spending too much of it on what you don't want, or trying to condense time through worrying about things that are truly out of your control.
This is one of the areas I fall down the most, because my time perception is not A Thing. I don't know what five minutes feels like, so it's easy to spend fifteen minutes doing something that I wanted to only take three.
I am, therefore, planning on buying more clocks, instead of hating myself for something that is extremely difficult for me to fix.
Instead of letting time ooze out all over your life, how can you be more aware of it? Or, conversely, if you worry too much about scheduling every minute of the day, make sure to schedule your down time. Your Blue Time. Calm yourself down, do something you've identified makes you happy and want to continue working toward your goals.
PINK - the day for spirit. The element of thoughts.
Because this is a bit of my own personal mythology, and how I relate to the world, it's a bit difficult to explain this one in as straightforward a fashion as I have above. In short - this is the whole point of why I celebrate the season the way that I do and, frankly, why I think that a lot of people see me as some degree of "that weird guy."
I've had a set of experiences in my life that means when I hear "Christmas" it's somewhat emptier than other people consider it. I'd be happy to tell you why I dislike Christmas music in general, or my thoughts of the pervasive "Happy Holidays" debacle, but I'd rather focus here on what is, rather than what isn't.
That's part of my Patience, and part of my Change.
Humans are unique. There's a different kind of Spirit. One that gets covered up in commercials, marketing, social obligation and tradition, and people lose who they really are in the mess of who people think they are or should be.
Even if we have more than one life to live, that doesn't mean we should throw away this one conforming to expectations simply because it makes us seem more sociable, less weird.
Hold onto your Spirit, and value it. No one gets to take it from you - if it disappears, that means you've given part of it away. Value it in others, and defend their right to keep it. Do it because they simply have one, not because they'll repay you. They might, but it's probably not in the way you expect.
2018 packed a lot of things in for me, so I have a lot to think about these last 7 days of the calendar. I can attribute much of who I am today to my special kind of spontaneity, energy, and curiosity, but it's gotten the better of me at times and I can easily forget to calm down and take inventory.
So that's what I'm going to do.
I have a lot of ongoing projects, and have identified new goals.
I've left a school I won't say I never should have gone to, but has quickly proved to be highly impractical. There are new studies already underway, some literary endeavors in the queue, and more time dedicated to things that are important.
2019, I'm doing things for me, and offering my energy to you. And doing things for me means paying more attention to what, and who, has made my life a crazy, chaotic, fascinating, wonderful place to be.
My best to you, and have a good one.